Sandpoint ID, USA - 1991
Script: The Idaho kid who loved emeraldgreen, writing music and
performing, bringing the nearby far away.
Warren Marley, is born Idaho - Sandpoint on May 19th, 1946, he worked
in the music business as a songwriter, singer - entertainer in Hawaii,
in L..A., in NYc. He visited Europe as a young man in the sixties-seventies
to get a taste of European culture. looked for inspiration, looked adventure
and to write music on this Steinway Grand, Keizergracht Amsterdam, where
he eventually took up residence and later played his piano from Hawaii,
a 'Mason and Hamlin'.
He loved to write music,
to connect with what lives in him in terms of musical concepts, tunes
and thoughts and to show it later to the world. An artist needs an audience.
Warren grew up in Sandpoint with his mother Opal Eileen Marley ( * 1919
and his father Clyde Wilson Marley (*1913 -
1980)and three brothers: the older
Bob-Arlen (* 1943 -
2010 ), the younger Randy and Lance (*1953 -
2019). His mother was housewife, his father managed
a family-run a food and beverage business. With his brothers Harold
and Emmet and one bother-in-law they owned a wholesale grocery-liquor
store in Bonner County, Sandpoint.
Two mean influences were, for sure his mother,who enjoyed herself playing
piano and passing on a musical dimension and from his dad who was a
church minister-clergyman, he received a religious-metaphysical dimension.
As teenager he moved to Esterville to stay with aunt Ardis Carey.
He attended local schools, graduating from Estherville Lincoln Central
High School. He took the school music education as well as private piano
lessons. In the school he accompanied the choir with his piano playing.
At the time, a vinyl record was recorded with the choir's songs. He
looked back on this period with pride. (This information needs to be
completed). Besides accompanied the choir he played in boy-bands and
dreamed of a musical carrier. Music was like an instinct an intelligent
drive within him, fascinated by it he wrote, played and sung and studied
popular as well as classical music all his life.
Warren developed also a daily ritual to study and meditate the Bible,
something he has seen at home. He experienced and discovered subjects
that inspired him, it nourish his research and desire for a religious
dimension in life. Searching for the meaning of Life. Besides music
he had a great interest in world-literature, in art, movies, in the
sun and swimming. He loved reading thrillers: Agatha Christie, Ronald
Dahl, Ruth Rendel, but also the classic French and Russian writers.
The art of education!
It is all about developing the child's own core and inner talents!
That is somehow different from an upbringing in accordance
with the expectations of others. In his youth he lacked the symbolization
by education / educators of certain psychic phenomena and values - even
if not those of a majority - belonging to healthy psychic development.
Has a young gay man he had to hide some parts of his personality in
order to survive. It is comparable to a black child growing up in the
environment of white children. It is entitled to hear it is equivalent.
Missing the learning transfer through identification, missing the positive
growth experience it causes a psychological struggle that lasts a lifetime.
There were no adult examples for identification, no verbal psychological
reassurance. 'Gay' was a denied or a rejected phenomenon. People preferred
to keep quiet about it.
people and places.
In his first professional years he met some important people in the
music business, people who pushed his starter career forward.
They facilitated and developed his profound love and talent for music.
Gerry and Sid Bernstein, Don Costa, Phil Ramone,they were important
guides. More career details in 'Encounters
He was stationed in Los Angeles, New York and he stayed several years
in Honolulu Hawaii. After living and working in the States he traveled
and worked around the world: London, Berlin, Poland, Paris, he worked
in The Peninsula in Hong Kong, in Corfu Greece, the Hilton and Okura
Amsterdam. He recorded with Don Costa, Phil Ramone and in Holland he
recorded'Sunny days in Amsterdam' and 'Mahalia'. From about 1976 he
settled and stayed permanently in Amsterdam. He stayed with me and had
his own piano studio.
In 1989 he became victim of an incurable viral disease - Hiv - and died
in 1991. His last year was a one of serious health problems and hardship.
In general Warren was an intelligent person with humour, very friendly,
a gentle and refined character with great compassion for people in need
and pain, with great empathy for the needs of children and elderly.
Marley family in Sandpoint and experiencing violence.
Warren had an affectionate relationship with his family. He gave them
time and attention. About every year he tried to stay for a few week
with them in Sandpoint. When his brothers got children he felt a great
affection for his nephew and nieces, for Nathan, Jennifer, Akela. He
also felt a great love for his grandmother Allred who lived in the 'yellow
house' (song). The childeren appear on the first page of the family
picture book he made in his senior year. Every year he was fond of exchanging
presents for Christmas.
At one of his stays in Sandpoint he visited with his brother Bob a bar
and was targeted by a group of violent men. He was ordered to leave
the bar and then was beaten up, broke his collarbone and had facial
and body injuries. By crawling under - and in the mud - a caravan he
eventually finds shelter from his attackers.
It reminded him of the nagging and bullying of students during his youth.
The reason he once went to live with his aunt Ardis Carey in Esterville.
Idaho was at that time (40 years ago) not the state with a great tolerance
for artistic and sexually differently grounded individuals. His father
cared for his injuries and Warren experienced great fatherly love. Not
much later his father died. During Warren's illness in Amsterdam his
mother Opal showed genuine concern and compassion.
Last goodbye Sandpoint.
In the last month of his life he received help to accomplish a last
wish: traveling a last time to the USA.
After months of hospitalization and realizing that the cause of the
disease was untreatable (hiv), we sought funding to fulfill one last
wish: a visit to his mother and family in Idaho for a last farewell.
They were aware of the seriousness of his illness but not yet of it
final stage. I had told his mother of the aids virus, but she kept it
in her heart.
To make the voyage from Amsterdam to Idaho we had to build in resting
KLM was loyal and supporting people traveling with aids. They gave us
an upgrade to business class, we stopped in Chicago and Spokane before
driving to Sandpoint. The hospital in Spokane cooperated to provide
interim medical assistance.
Since his life was about to end prematurely, he intended to inform his
family about the illness and wishes regarding his music legacy. But
a weak condition and an inner conflict kept tormenting him. He wanted
to tell the truth but at the same time feared that his family would
reject him and could for example deny him access to his cousins.
Not an unknown phenomenon not discussing difficult topics.
Resting in Amsterdam.
The trip was prolific and of great psychological importance. He had
succeeded in going back in his mind and in real time to Sandpointe.
was of great consolation to say farewell to family,
place of birth, the yellow house, youth
and friends. We were both satisfied
that the trip to America was successful. In a way it was joyful and
painful, we were sad that he had not been able to express his heart.
Three days after his return to Amsterdam, he developed blood poisoning
that proved fatal.
He is buried surrounded by friends, words of the bible, his own music,
Mahalia Jackson, blue gentians, calla lilies and roses. Bible verses
were read, the story of 'The 'New Jerusalem': "Then I saw a new
heaven and a new earth,...... And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem,
coming down out of heaven..". Also at his request, his father's
bible is laid in his coffin, a desire to rest with the word of God.
It was his choice to rests in Amsterdam, "Zorgvlied" the old
cemetery along the Amstel river. Epitaph: Don't let the song go out
of your life.